Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell complained Thursday that President Obama has gone AWOL on the border surge crisis by refusing to try to work with Republicans on a bill to solve the problem.
After initially laying out a series of reforms that could help speed up deportations, Mr. Obama has since retreated, Mr. McConnell said, after “he listened once again to his most partisan instincts instead of uniting Congress around a common solution.”
“It’s exasperating for those of us who want to work toward bipartisan solutions. It’s confusing, I’m sure, to Democrats who share our desire to get something done. And it’s emboldening to the Democrats who don’t,” Mr. McConnell said.
He said Mr. Obama “would rather fundraise in Hollywood” than cajole Democrats to support a solution that could keep children from attempting the treacherous journey across Mexico.
Mr. Obama earlier this month called for substantial spending to house and care for the illegal immigrant children and families surging across the border, and also said he would support changes to law making it easier to deport the children.
But under intense pressure from Hispanic groups and immigrant-rights advocates, he has since backed off those changes, and has instead urged Congress to pass his spending bill without any other policy changes.
That’s angered even some Democrats who balked at his no-strings-attached request. Two of them voted for a filibuster of his spending bill on Wednesday, and others said that while they didn’t support the filibuster, they cannot vote for his package unless it includes changes to the law that would send a signal that illegal immigrants should be sent home.